Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Long-Term Ownership Reviews


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th August 2007, 19:17   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,973
Thanked: 11,919 Times
Lightbulb Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LT - 60,000 Kms Report

I bought a Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LT for an on-road price of Rs. 11.2 Lacs exactly 3 years back. It has been a love-hate relationship, though some of the problems I've faced with the car might have been due to my ignorance.



Quick facts -

Name of the car: Chameli
Distance Covered: 62,000 kms (70% on the highways)

City Mileage: 8 km/litre (AC on), 9 km/litre (AC off)
Highway Mileage: 12 km/litre (AC on)
Best Mileage: 16 km/litre (at 80 kmph, AC off on golden quadrilateral)

Accessories fitted: Garmin GPS, Bosch Bi-xenon headlamps, K&N filter, 15 inch alloys with 195/60 R15 Michelin tyres.

Average service cost: Rs. 6,000 per service (at 10,000 km each)
Problems faced: wheel alignment problems, rear tyres balding, underbody damage because of low ground clearance, stereo went kaput once.

Accident damage: Rs. 1.4 lacs (Insurance paid 1 lac, my friend paid the rest!)



Before buying this car, I had looked at Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra and Skoda Octavia. I gave Corolla a skip because everybody has it, Elantra looks a bit weird and Skoda Octavia looked like poor value for money.

Design and Build Quality:

Top class. No rattles yet. And even after so many years, she still looks great. Eventhough looks are subjective, I personally don't like what GM has done to the new Optra petrol and the Magnum diesel front part. The old 'three grill Daewoo' front is the best.

The middle seat is mostly unusable on long trips because of hard back-side and the transmission tunnel. The bootspace is decent enough. The leather seats are comfortable and is good enough to sleep in.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Engine, Mileage and Power:

Ideal for city, ghats and highway driving. Overtaking is a breeze. Though I wish it would make some noise when I rev the engine. I bought K&N filter hoping that it would make a difference, but nopes. I also would have liked the pick-up to be better in 4th and 5th gears, below 2000 rpm.

Not satisfied with the mileage.

Rating: 7 out of 10



Ride Quality and Handling:

I usually drive sedately in ghats, enjoying the scenery, so I won't be able to comment much on the handling/grip part. But occassionally, when the devil takes over and I push the car a bit, it seems to hold on to the road well.

Ride quality is brilliant, like all car magazines say. It is great for Indian highways (especially SH). However, the ground clearance is low but it scrapes the bottom all the time. The front of the car also has a large overhang because of which the front bumper keeps kissing the ground.

Rating: 9 out of 10



Ownership & Service Experience:

Ugh! Terrible! I used to go to Sundaram Motors, Bangalore and nothing gets done right the first time. If I list out 5 things to be done, only 3 or 4 things would be done. They also have a callous attitude towards customers' cars. Wheel alignment was poorly done, for example - due to which the ride quality suffered and I had to replace the rear tyres.

But now I have moved to Garuda Motors, Bangalore. Service is excellent. Here, I found out that, for an Optra, all 4 wheels need to be aligned. Sundaram guys used to do it only for the front. Because of this, the rear tyres would go bald by 30,000 kms (while the front would still have lots of tread). I would have lost close to Rs. 10,000 just replacing the tyres because of this.

The spare parts prices are OK-ish. Rear bumper costs Rs. 12,000. Dent repair costs Rs. 2,500. I don't remember how much I paid for new set of brakes, but it wasn't heart attack inducing.

Rating: 6 out of 10 (saved by Garuda)


Reliability & Feel Good Factor:

We've never been let down by the Optra. Be it at 14,000 feet at minus 10 degrees or in the desert at 48 degree celcius. The stereo is top class. The gadget list is impressive.

However, I don't have passenger air bag and ABS. It can't be retrofitted either.

Rating: 8 out of 10
smartcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2007, 19:24   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
Akshay1234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9,759
Thanked: 6,669 Times
Default

nice car.. if you want it to sound good when you rev it then get a free flow exhaust..

how much did the xenons cost you? and how about some pics rims.. all of them have the stock 14inchers.
Akshay1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2007, 19:51   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,973
Thanked: 11,919 Times
Default

The free flow thing.. will my car make noises even at low RPM? I wouldn't want that either. It should scream only when I floor the accelerator.

I bought blue xenons for low beam and white ones for high (total cost Rs. 24,000). An absolute must on the highways. I don't use it much it the city (just the parking & fog lamps), because it seems to distract others. It's scary to watch a scooter wala overtake me and look back into the light.
smartcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2007, 20:42   #4
Team-BHP Support
 
Akshay1234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9,759
Thanked: 6,669 Times
Default

the noise part is up to you. my getz does not make any noise when the accel is pressed lightly. but makes a deep growl at lower rpms and goes higher at higher rpms when it is floored.
Akshay1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2007, 20:52   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
PatienceWins's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,157
Thanked: 261 Times
Default

Very nice report

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
the noise part is up to you. my getz does not make any noise when the accel is pressed lightly. but makes a deep growl at lower rpms and goes higher at higher rpms when it is floored.
I fully agree with you. It has become worse with K&N.
PatienceWins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2007, 22:25   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
CrAzY dRiVeR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Bangalore / TVM
Posts: 8,972
Thanked: 16,750 Times
Default

Very nice report and excellent pics!

My friend has an Optra and I love it for its ride. Its a 1.6 VGIS though!
CrAzY dRiVeR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th August 2007, 23:00   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Lukeskywalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,396
Thanked: 1,149 Times
Default

Quote:
Average service cost: Rs. 6,000 per service (at 10,000 km each)
Were there any parts replaced or was it just general service?
Could you give a rough expense list pls?

Quote:
Here, I found out that, for an Optra, all 4 wheels need to be aligned.
That's news to me too, have to check with Madhu's where I get it done.

Last edited by DCEite : 30th August 2007 at 23:24. Reason: No need to type whole post in Bold.
Lukeskywalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 00:06   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,973
Thanked: 11,919 Times
Default

It was both - part replacement + general service. I just took an average. Sometimes the bill is 4k, else it is 8k. The manual has a big list of parts to be replaced when the clock crosses 60,000 kms. The last service cost me Rs. 10,000.

If you've noticed Chevrolet Optra print ads or the Chevrolet website, you will notice a line "All wheel independent suspension" or something like that. If this is not a 'special' feature, they wouldn't have printed it. This could be the reason for good ride quality of the car.

Other cars in the segment like Octavia, Corolla, Civic etc has semi-independent suspension at the rear.

Be careful if you are getting the wheels aligned at a friendly neighbourhood tyre wallah. Most of their computers won't have proper Optra's readings. If you need the front/rear settings of Optra, ask the Garuda service station wallahs to give you a copy. Or sticky me and I will fax/mail it across to you.
smartcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 16:00   #9
Team-BHP Support
 
Akshay1234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9,759
Thanked: 6,669 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatienceWins View Post
Very nice report



I fully agree with you. It has become worse with K&N.
i have a free flow and a conical ractive. i was talking about the free flow sound.
Akshay1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 17:27   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,973
Thanked: 11,919 Times
Default

Now for some fun photos -

Road Condition before the little incident:



Photo taken immediately after the accident:



From another angle:



Damage to the Bus:



- This incident happened just 2 months after I purchased the car, on the Bangalore - Chennai highway.

- We were doing 120 kmph on a rain drenched road. My friend was driving the car while I was sitting at the back, merrily taking photos.

- The bus was taking a U-turn on the Golden Quadrilateral. He had put the indicator also. Absolutely no fault of the bus driver.

- We didn't have breakfast before we left. I think my friend was not very alert. Before he noticed the bus, it was a bit too late.

- He slammed the brakes hard. The wheels locked (No ABS remember). The car skid for a few metres and rammed into the back of the bus. I would estimate the impact speed to be about 30 kmph.

- Because of the high chassis of the bus, the bonnet of my car took the entire impact of the crash. Total damage: Rs. 1.4 lacs. Sundaram motors took 2 months to deliver the car back.
smartcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 19:29   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
Lukeskywalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,396
Thanked: 1,149 Times
Default

Oops!! That's a bad one allright. Hope you guys walked out without any damage to yourselves. Really hurts to see a 2 month old car mangled as such.
Lukeskywalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 19:30   #12
Team-BHP Support
 
Akshay1234's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 9,759
Thanked: 6,669 Times
Default

ouch.. must have felt even worse since it was no fault of yours.
Akshay1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 21:04   #13
BHPian
 
gopinathann's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 765
Thanked: 20 Times
Default

whoa, accident with the new car always pinches the heart.
I love the optra design, very sporty. I loved to have one but due to expensive cost of spares and poor mileage & service made me not to go for that.
gopinathann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 21:59   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,973
Thanked: 11,919 Times
Default

No, not a scratch. We didn't even feel the force of impact properly. It was equivalent to somebody slamming the brakes hard. I guess the bonnet really crumpled and took all the force of the impact.

And thankfully, the airbag didn't pop out. I was told by the dealer that putting the airbag back will cost Rs. 80,000. And that insurance would pay only 50%.

Anyway, we learn't a very big 'driving lesson' because of the accident. Nowadays, we drive carefully when the roads are wet. The guy in the passenger seat now always watches out for obstacles/vehicles on the road.

Quote:

SX4 ZXI - 2007
Santro Xing - 2004

Maruti 800 - 1996
I drove my relative's new SX4 ZXI (same colour as yours). I loved the interior dash/center console lighting and the tall stance. It's almost like an SUV when compared to the Optra! However, I felt that the stereo of SX4 was a bit of a dud. Do you have to make any bass/treble settings changes to make it sound good?

Incredible value for money SX4 is. And the length and width is the same as that of D-segment cars like Corolla/Optra/Octavia. If I were to buy a new car now, I would probably go for the SX4.
smartcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31st August 2007, 22:47   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
BUSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Bombay
Posts: 5,130
Thanked: 10 Times
Default

Hey smart cat a very nice review there. I too have a Optra NY Edition LT with ABS and all and 205/50/15, the ride quality goes down a wee bit.

Yes 4 wheel allignment is required for the Optra due to independent suspension.

I too have a KnN Conical filter, it makes quite a lot of difference thorugh out the rev range, the noise is there too at high RPM's, which filter do you have, conical or stock replacement, please put a pic of the engine bay.

Which company Xenos did you buy.

Also please post some interior pics.

And yeah a FFE wont make noise at low revvs, go for 4-2-1 headers.
BUSA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sailing on tarmac : The Chevrolet Sail ownership report @ 20,000 kms parrys Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 57 8th February 2014 15:32
Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 Diesel - 24,000 kms Ownership Review vidyabhushan Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 12 15th November 2012 16:38
Hyundai Verna Fluidic Vs. Chevrolet Optra Magnum vs Chevrolet Cruze soulweaver Sedans 55 3rd October 2011 10:48
Scorpio CRDe @ 70,000 kms! 5,000 of Agony & 65,000 of bliss smats Long-Term Ownership Reviews 17 8th May 2010 17:37
Spied:2009 chevrolet optra J200 and chevrolet beat M300 (matiz) sidindica The Indian Car Scene 41 29th May 2009 08:55


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 05:34.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks